January 16, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Michigan election results: Another primary, another winner

Mitt Romney won Michigan’s Republican primary, but the story of the race for president doesn’t seem any clearer. “Romney Blasts GOP Race Wide Open,” The Detroit News said.

Three big election contests this month have produced three different GOP winners, prompting the Detroit Free Press to say: “Romney Makes it Anybody’s Race.” “GOP race remains muddled,” the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald said. “Romney win jumbles race even more,” The Seattle Times said, while The Oregonian in Portland offered: “3rd winner, splintered party.”

Beyond the lead headlines in Michigan, the News looked at lessons learned (fears that independent voters would influence the GOP outcome didn’t materialize), and the Free Press examined low voter turnout (a snowy day and a ballot missing two major Democratic candidates). The Times Herald in Port Huron divided its page in half vertically to allow reporting on another important local story — two dead in a 10-hour standoff with police.

The Boston Globe pictured Romney, former Massachusetts governor, and said: “Easily beats McCain to cloud GOP picture heading into South Carolina.” The State in Columbia, S.C., looks like it is ready for more politicking — with the image of an elephant, the GOP symbol, over the nameplate. But wait, that’s not an election story. “The Circus is in Town,” the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, the Democrats debated Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Nevada newspapers reflected the lack of fireworks. “Hopefuls play safe, nice,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal said. The Reno Gazette-Journal described the debate as “docile,” and the Las Vegas Sun sang: “Kumbaya.”

The collapse of an interstate bridge in Minneapolis was among top stories of 2007. Today, the newspapers of Minnesota shared news from the National Transportation Safety Board on a possible culprit. “A half-inch closer to why,” the Star Tribune of Minneapolis said, referring to steel plates that might have been too thin. Like the Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press used a drawing to illustrate the design flaw.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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